Chipping Norton in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds

Bliss Mill, Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton

Image of Bliss Mill © Commatic Ltd.

Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton Norton is located 11 miles north of Burford in probably one of the least explored and commercialised areas of the Cotswolds.

Bliss Mill in Chipping NotonKnown locally as 'Chippy', the bustling market town of Chipping Norton is the highest town in Oxfordshire at approximately 700ft above sea level.

This lofty position gives Chipping Norton commading views across traditional Cotswold countryside, not least across the valley to Bliss Mill, a landmark dating back to 1872.

The word "Chipping" means market, revealing the town's past importance as a commercial centre for the Evenlode valley. Other examples os this use of Chipping includes Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire and an area of Tetbury known as The Chippings.

In mediaeval times, when the Cotswolds were one of the wealthiest parts of England due to the production of wool, Chipping Norton grew in importance and many of the mediaeval buildings built as a result remain in the town centre. There are also many buildings dating from the 18th century.

The 2001 census records the resident population of Chipping Norton as 5,972.

The late Ronnie Barker once ran an antiques shop in Chipping Norton and motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson lives close by.

Local attractions include the Rollright Stones at Great Rollright.

Chipping Norton News

More Dynamic and Diverse Than Ever, the Chipping Norton Literary Festival Box Office is NOW OPEN!
4 March 2014

Now in its third year, this highly praised market-town festival is once again turning the Cotswolds into a literary extravaganza! With ever more outstanding authors and informative literary events the ChipLitFest, as it is affectionately known, has swiftly found its place as a leading-the-pack regional festival. Previous years have seen local visitors as well as many from London and around the country coming to this atmospheric town. Stimulating, fun, and affordable, the Chipping Norton Literary Festival punches well above its weight whilst maintaining an up-close intimacy no longer found in many festivals today.

Here is the latest selection of literary talks and events and further updates can be found on the website

Biography & Memoirs

Alan Johnson, talks about This Boy, his memoirs of a transitioning England and growing up in the slums of West London.

Contemporary Culture

Phil Davis discusses his latest book, Reading and the Reader

Tim Dowling, on his latest book The Wareing Haters Club, inspired by the results of incessant self-googling.

Tim Harford, discusses The Undercover Economist Strikes Back and his new column at the FT, Since You Asked, which offers a skeptical look at news of the week.

Melissa Mohr on A Brief History of Swearing

Events include Does Opinion Matter? with Tim Dowling, India Knight, Lucy Mangan, and Jane Wenham-Jones

Crime Writing

Events include Crime Writing – Fact or Fiction? with David Barclay, Tania Carver, and Nick Gargan, Chief Constable Avon & Somerset


Events include Is Feminism Still Relevant? with Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism) and Laurie Penny


Fanny Blake, Harriet Evans, Veronica Henry, and Sophie King debate Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) and Rochester (Jane Eyre)

Paula Daly discusses her chilling page-turner, Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

Anna Hope talks about her first novel, Wake – The Forgotten Soldier

Rachel Joyce on The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

India Knight speaks to Gill Hornby about her latest novel, Mutton, a hilarious, heart-felt exploration of women’s relationships with their looks.

Nicci French discuss their third and most recent title, Waiting for Wednesday, as well as the methodology behind their successful collaboration.

Kate Mosse discusses Haunting Tales, a compilation of ghost stories

Joanna Trollope, speaks about her upcoming book, Balancing Act, which tells the story of a successful female-run family business in Stoke-on-Trent. She will be joined by Emma Bridgewater, (founder of the highly collectible eponymous ceramics firm), to address what it takes in today’s world to be a successful business woman.

Penny Vincenzi on her 15th novel, A Kind of Promise

Events include Jo Baker and Book Club With The Author


Claudia Roden in conversation with Henrietta Green to discuss A Life in Cooking

Also part of the food programme, the food festival BITE, will run a lively Farmer’s Market!


John Shortland on Why Can’t My Garden Look Like That?


Kate Adie presents her latest book, Fighting on the Home Front, which reveals the ways in which women’s lives changed during World War One and what the impact has been for women today.

Elizabeth Buchan, Clare Mulley, Jane Thynne, and Jason Webster talk about Spies of World War Two.

Jonathan Mayo discusses his findings on the assassination of JFK


Jonathan Aitken talks about his latest publication, Margaret Thatcher: Power and the Personality, a study of Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.


Ben Hatch and Tim Moore talk about The French Revolution – Cycling the Tour de France.

The popular VERY SHORT INTRODUCTIONS with Oxford University Press

Fifteen minutes bullet-point talks on comedy, psychiatry, geopolitics, contemporary fiction, animal kingdom, food, Italian literature


Poetry readings, talks and discussions with Claire Dyer, Dan Holloway, Vanessa Kisuule, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Kate Rhodes, and Clare Trévian

Children’s Programme

Including writers and illustrators Lauren Child, Damian Dibden, John Dougherty, Sharon Gosling, Craig Green, Mary Hooper, Abie Longstaff, David O’Connell, Korky Paul, Tom Percival, Holly Smale, and talks on Beast Quest, Peter Rabbit, and more.

Writing Workshops

Flash Fiction for Adults is chaired by Emily Barr and Craig Green.
Want to be a writer? Pitch the agent with literary agent Carole Blake.
How to create suspense with Paula Daly and Rachel Rayner
So you want to write Mills & Boon with Jessica Gilmore and Flo Nichol
How to write short stories with Helen Hunt
Writing for radio with Rachel Joyce
Self Publishing with Rachel Lucas

Chipping Norton Accommodation

Crown and Cushion Hotel, High Street. Chipping Norton
The Crown and Cushion Hotel is a Cotswolds Hotel with Leisure and Conference facilities providing Accommodation in Chipping Norton and ideal for Cotswolds Holidays and Short Breaks. The Hotel is situated in Chipping Norton at the heart of the Cotswolds countryside in Oxfordshire. Originally a 15th-Century Coaching Inn, its traditions of hospitality and hostelry date back to 1497.

Today The Crown and Cushion, privately owned and run by its Proprietors Alan Whitehead and Stefan Schmitter, is a modern fully functioning Cotwolds Hotel, Conference and Leisure Centre offering guests the finest in fresh local produce and the ultimate in comfort and luxury. The Hotel has been awarded a Gold Award by the Green Tourisim Business Scheme for its continious efferds to protect the environment without compromising quality standards.
Telephone: +44 (0)1608 642926

Other Chipping Norton Information

Car Parks in Chipping Norton
There are free public car parks in New Street, High Street and Albion Street, with varying time limits.

How high is Chipping Norton above sea level
Chipping Norton is approximately 700ft above sea level.

Page last updated 04/03/2014 12:42:34

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